The number of home repossessions in the first six months of 2007 has risen by almost a third compared with the same period in 2006, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
A survey conducted by CML has found that 14,000 properties were taken into possession in the first six months of this year, a rise of 18% compared with the second half of 2006 and 30% more than in the first six months of last year.
The research also found that mortgage arrears are rising, with an estimated 125,100 mortgages in arrears of three months or more at the end of June, a 4% rise compared with the end of December but 3% lower than June last year. Around 1% of all mortgages are in arrears.
According to CML, the number of possessions has risen more sharply than arrears during the past two years. CML claims this is caused by increased sib-prime lending, which is more likely to result in a possession, and more active arrears management by lenders, which prevents customers falling further into arrears where it is avoidable.
Michael Coogan, CML director general, says: "The sharp rise in repossessions in the first half of this year has been driven by a combination of factors, but the absolute number of repossessions is still low by historical standards.
"Overall, the vast majority of mortgage borrowers will continue to cope, even in a market where affordability is stretched. But anyone who thinks they may face difficulties should talk to their lender early to explore their options”.
The CML also reports that it has revised many of its possession and arrears statistics for the past four years and has withdrawn forecasts released earlier this year.
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